About Those Telecommute Writing Jobs Sites

Telecommute Writing Jobs
Telecommute writing jobs; should you pay a service?. Paper Boat Creative / Getty Images

Question: Are Pay Sites a Good Bet for Telecommute Writing Jobs?  

Dear Allena,

I have a question about telecommute writing jobs, and specifically Flexjobs telecommute service/job aggregator. I’m just coming out of a long-term staff writing position, so I feel confident in my ability to set up a freelance writing business and be a successful freelancer. I am, however, a little unsure of the whole job scene.

I saw your blog post about applying to many jobs, some of which came from Craigslist. I’ve also seen your blog post about the employer/client who used Craigslist to hire writers and got over 900 applicants. I’m not sure I want to spend my time there!

I’ve seen an ad quite often for one of these telecommute writing jobs services, Flexjobs. But I don’t think you’ve ever reviewed it or blogged about it. What do you think about using Flexjobs to cut down on some of the clutter and time commitment of freelance writing job searching?

Thanks kindly,-K

Answer: Telecommute Writing Job Sites Might Be a Decent Investment

Dear K,

It does sound like you will do fairly well in the field.

Please keep in mind that my multiple applications were mostly an experiment, and that I followed that experiment up with over two weeks of direct-contact marketing. In addition, although the return was originally dismal, I actually continued to receive work into April from that January undertaking.

I've not reviewed FlexJobs as there are just so many places to find freelance writing jobs for no fee (even good ones--I recently found a 24K project through an association!). However, based on some precursory research, here are some things I've found about FlexJobs.

The Telecommuting Journal said "FlexJobs allows employers to sign up and list job openings, but they also list other telecommuting jobs found floating around the web (I saw at least one from Craigslist and several from CareerBuilder as well as postings taken from individual sites who happen to compensate writers like here and eHow).

If I can find everything in one place, that saves me a great deal of time."

So according to that, Flexjobs includes at least a few jobs (if not more) that you could find yourself online for free. I wonder what the balance is between exclusive jobs and, for example, Craigslist posts that are already aggregated elsewhere. However, I suppose you are paying for convenience in that case.

The CEO of Flexjobs has commented in places on the net that this is true- that these are not per se unique jobs, but are all in one place for you. Here's a quote from her: "We in no way claim to have unique jobs on our site … what we do claim (and this from our home page) is that FlexJobs will save you time by letting us do the tedious work of finding the best jobs from all over the web."

So, again, it's a matter of paying for convenience. Given how long I've spent in the past scouring job postings, I wouldn't say it's wasted money at all. It might save you a few hours. So, in order to ramp up some freelance work, yes, maybe a month or two would be worth the money.

Otherwise, if you don't have the cash to spend, or you are simply able and ready to do the grunt work yourself, consider starting with this comprehensive list of freelance writing jobs.

It's one of the best out there!

Got a comment on FlexJobs or a similar job service? Be sure to contact our freelance writing expert via the web.